Don’t buy into the lowest price

Over a year ago, I picked internet-provider UPC, despite knowing that they had some bad reviews on the internet, but I choose them anyway for they where the cheapest.

Clearly, in hindsight, this was a mistake for soon my share was slow internet, or no internet at all, and terrible helpdesk assistance. For a low price though, but it clearly seemed UPC was cutting costs in all areas of their company, and it wasn’t working.

See, being cheapest comes at a price.

Only some months ago, I went for XS4ALL. They’re one of the most expensive providers out there, but I’ve had no problems since, and unlike UPC, it has been worth the money.

Like UPC, I’ve made the low-price mistake from a sales position as well, when I did freelancing for friends, for a reduced price. I think I was giving them a good deal, but obviously they expected the full deal (since they where paying, and had no idea that a proper website-design costs more than 150 euro). I’m sure many freelancers have had this experience as well, but this advice from Paul Scriven is one of the best advices I can share to freelancers:
‘Work for free, or the full price. Never for cheap.’

When you work for free you can manage the expectations, as opposed to when you work for cheap, your clients will still have the same expectations, had you worked for the full price.

Going for the lowest price is kinda cheap. It’s a terrible argument to sell your stuf. If a low price is all you’ve got, it only takes one competitor to be cheaper, and you’re done. It also shows you have no other ideas to market your product. As Seth Godin said:
‘Everyone needs to sell at a fair price, but a fair price is not always the lowest price.’

And, as a consumer, the lowest price is also the worst argument to buy something.

The race for the lowest price is a race to the bottom, and it’s a race that has no winners. It’s the reason why factories put horse-meat in beef. It’s why vegetables are packed with chemicals. And it’s the reason why factories in Bangladesh collapse: to make four dollar t-shirts.

As Anne Lappe once said;
‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.’

So please,
don’t buy into that crap.pigs


Further reading: A low price is a terrible premise